PARSHA ON PARADE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF MY DEAR FATHER AND REBBI:
HARAV HAGAON RAV YESHAYA SHIMANOWITZ Z'TZL ,
YESHIVAS RABAINU YAAKOV YOSEF
(RABBI JACOB JOSEPH YESHIVA - RJJ)
IN NYC FOR OVER 23 YEARS.
NIFTAR ON 20 ADAR 5758 - MARCH 18, 1998.
MAY HE BE A MAYLITZ YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL.
MY DEAR MOTHER
REBITZEN BRACHA ETEL SHIMANOWITZ A'H
WHO DEVOTED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO MY FATHER AND HIS TORAH,
NIFTERA ON 21 TEVET 5770 - WED EVE. JANUARY 6, 2010.
MAY SHE BE A MAYLITZA YOSHER FOR ALL OF KLAL YISROEL
Menachim Z. Shimanowitz
too can dedicate a Parsha or any other section of Torah Tots in honor
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NUMBER OF MITZVOT: 2
Some count the mitzvah of T'shuva (repentance) from this Parsha.
2 MITZVOT ASEH (POSITIVE COMMANDMENT)
0 MITZVOT LO TAASEH (NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT - PROHIBITION)
NUMBER OF PESUKIM (SENTENCES): 30
NUMBER OF WORDS: 553
NUMBER OF LETTERS: 2123
HAFTORA: (Additional portion, from Prophets, which is read after the Parsha)
Yeshayahu / Isaiah 61:10 - 63:9 שוש
This is the last of seven Haftorot,
- the שבע דנחמתא - the Seven Haftorot of Consolation, that precede Rosh HaShana).
This week we study Chapters 5 & 6 of Pirkei Avot - "Ethics of the Fathers"
Saturday night, after midnight, or
in the early hours of the morning, Ashkenazim begin the recitation of Selichot.
Rosh HaShana is Thursday and Friday, September 21 & 22.
Tzom Gedaliah is Sunday, September 24.
Yom Kippur is Shabbat, September 30.
In our last episode, Moshe pleaded with the Bnei Yisroel to choose the path of life - the path of Torah and Mitzvot.
The seventh day of Adar is here and a heavenly voice calls out to Moshe, "This is your last day on earth."
Moshe immediately confronts Hashem and tries to push off the inevitable. Hashem responds to Moshe that every descendant of Adam must die, as it was decreed after Adam ate from the Eitz Ha'daat (Tree of Knowledge). Moshe realizes that there's no getting out of it, so he asks the trumpeteers to sound a call for all of Bnei Yisroel to gather together. But Hashem has hidden the trumpets. This is a sign to Moshe that his day as a leader is coming to an end. Moshe decides to walk around the camps, saying goodbye to people individually. Moshe encourages people to listen to Yehoshua and to trust in Hashem. There is no need to fear enemies when Hashem is on your side!
| Moshe wants to make
sure that Yehoshua takes hold of the reins as the respected leader
of Bnei Yisroel. He orders a throne of gold and royal clothing
for Yehoshua to wear. Yehoshua even gets a crown and a kingly purple
robe. Moshe sets out benches around the throne for the Sanhedrin
and the Kohanim. Throughout the camp the announcement is
heard: "The new leader of Bnei Yisroel will speak today.
The entire Bnei Yisroel shows up to Moshe's pep rally
to greet Yehoshua. Yehoshua's humility causes him to be uncomfortable
in such a hot spotlight, especially when he's wearing a king's
clothes and sitting on a throne. But Moshe encourages hiim to
keep his chin up. A leader of Bnei Yisroel must be strong
in Torah and have courage to lead the Jewish people.
Most importantly, he must have patience with this nation.
Up till now only Moshe taught Torah. On this day, Yehoshua
and Moshe both taught Torah. Kaleiv, Yehoshua's comrade
from the spying days, is hired to explain Yehoshua's words to
"Yossel Q. Public." Yehoshua is a great Talmud Chacham
(Torah Scholar) and gives a whopper of a shiur
(lecture), but the Zekaynim (elders) only rate him "a
moon" (the highest score is a "sun," like Moshe).
Chol Hamoed Sukkot following the Shmita year,
the entire Bnei Yisroel gathers in the Bait Hamikdash
What is Hakheil?
Well, the first thing you need is a King. Second thing you need is a Bait Hamikdash.
On Chol Hamoed Sukkot, the trumpets are blown all over
Yerushalayim, signalling all the Jews to gather together
in the courtyard of the Bait Hamikdash. The King sits
on a platform and recites aloud parts of the Book of Devarim.
Bnei Yisroel is reminded to fear Hashem and
to keep Hashem's Mitzvot. Every man, woman and child
in Bnei Yisroel is commanded to attend Hakheil.
This glorious gathering of the entire nation will stay etched
in the minds of every child like the memories of Simchat Torah
and hiding the Afikoman on Pesach.
lets Moshe in on a little secret. That following Moshe's death the
Jews will break the covenant they made with Hashem. All
the disaster? It's gonna happen; the famine, the exile... But Hashem
is still rooting for Bnei Yisroel and is willing to wait
for the nation to hop on the teshuvah train.
The problem is that it takes a nudging, like pestilence or disease,
to get the Jews to repent. These punishments can cause a real
complex: "Why should I decide to teshuvah when Hashem
keeps zapping me?" That's why Hashem insists that this
whole episode be put to prose that is Parshat "Ha'azinu,"
a song that Yehoshua teaches the nation. Once the Jews get the
hint and do teshuvah, Hashem will return us
to Eretz Yisroel. Moshe writes down the song "Ha'azinu"
to encourage us to do teshuvah.
| The final Mitzvah
of the Torah is for every Jew to write his own Sefer
Torah (Torah Scroll). You may hire a Sofer to
write the Sefer Torah for you if you're unable to do it
yourself. This will assure the Jewish people that every Jew will
be able to learn Torah at any time, day or night. Today,
we fulfill the Mitzva by buying Seforim (Torah
Literature), and by taking a share in a communal Sefer Torah.
In the old days there were no printing presses and books were expensive and rare - most people in the world never learned to read and stayed ignorant all their lives - but not the Jews. Writing a Sefer Torah is part of a steep program to keep Jews reading and learning. No Jew should ever be able to say that he can't learn because he can't read.
Now Scribing... that's a different story! A Sefer
Torah is very carefully written. It's got all kinds of rules
and regulations. Not everybody is cut out to fulfill the task.
Just in case there’s ever a question about a letter or how to
spell a word. To this day, every Sefer Torah is hand
written by a Sofer (scribe) in the exact
same way the original Torah was written. Now, that’s
Meanwhile, in Moshe’s head he’s thinking maybe I can dodge Hashem’s decree and not die today. Hashem commands Moshe to call Yehoshua. Moshe comes up with an idea: “How about if Yehoshua becomes the new leader and I live as a mere student of his!” When Yehoshua comes into Moshe’s tent, the cloud of glory descends between them. When the cloud lifts, Moshe knows that Yehoshua has received a message from Hashem. Moshe eagerly asks “So, what does Hashem have to say to you?” But Yehoshua replies, “It’s a secret between Hashem and me.”
On this last day of Moshe’s life Hashem dictates the
entire Torah from beginning to end. Moshe’s pen miraculously
flows at great speed. This Sefer Torah is given to Shevet
(Tribe) Levi. All future Sifrei Torah will
be copied from this one. This irks the other tribes. The elders
of each Shevet argue: "All Jews were given the Torah
equally at Har Sinai. Why should Levi have the Torah
in their court?"
For once, Moshe is happy to hear an argument coming from the Bnei Yisroel. This proves that all of Bnei Yisroel loves the Torah. Right away, Moshe whips out a feather and with G-d speed (literally), Moshe knocks out twelve more Sifrei Torah - one for each Shevet. The original Sefer Torah is put away in the Aron (Ark) with the Luchot (tablets).
Moshe knows that he could never live outside the inner circle. Moshe accepts the decree. He is ready to die. Hashem comforts Moshe; "There will come a time when the dead will come to life - "Techiyat Hametim." At that time, you will lead Bnei Yisroel again."
Tune in next week when Yehoshua and Moshe teach Bnei Yisroel the “Ha’azinu Shuffle” - in good times and bad it’s the song that keeps the promise moving along and it’s featured in the next exciting episode of:
the Midrash Maven on Vayeilech
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